Newsstand: May 1, 2012




Newsstand: May 1, 2012

If you woke up this Tuesday morning with a P!nk song in your head, we are so very sorry. Here, try to flush that out by cramming some news in your noggin: Elephant transfer is held up by confusion and paperwork, TTC audit reveals they're not perfect, health board rejects call to lower speed limits, and the mayor might raise property taxes after all.

The Toronto Zoo’s three elephants are taking their time, in classic elephant style, when it comes to their big move out of cold Canada and off to warmer pastures. The zoo board and the California sanctuary where the Toronto elephants are slated to move can’t seem to settle on the proper paperwork. The zoo board says it has concerns about some of the other elephants at the sanctuary coming in to contact with TB and want to see medical records. The sanctuary says it presented medical records but the zoo CEO won’t read them on the advice of a lawyer. If us humans find all this confusing, imagine how the elephants must feel.

On to the thrilling world of internal audits. The TTC has just released one such exciting document, outlining the details of running the transit system between January 2010 and June 2011. The audit found audit-y things, like a need for greater oversight of overtime and outside consultants. Also that the TTC should stop ignoring and/or losing some of the construction plans it pays for. Yes, that sounds like pretty solid advice.

Chief Medical Officer of Health David McKeown’s grand plan to slow down traffic in an effort to control all of us with his mind and/or just try to bum us all out save lives, was mostly turned down by the health board. The board did vote to look into decreasing speeds, but only in neighbourhoods that expressly want such an initiative in place. On top of that, board chair John Filion (Ward 23, Willowdale) added that he will be looking at a transcript of Mayor Rob Ford’s radio show in which the mayor was discussing the proposal and generally being kind of mean about the chief medical officer of health, saying he wants to “look into” David McKeown’s salary.

There’s lots of budget talk around City Hall these days. It seems the mayor is considering a slight raise in property taxes for 2013, and he still wants to cut the land-transfer tax, because, why not, right? Oh, and also, after all the talk about closing zoos and libraries, there’s a $292 million budget surplus.